Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Judge Hears Arguments on Shelter.

Byline: Carolyn Appelman Journal Staff Writer

* Owners want to rebuff county's injunction attempts to close facility

A district judge Tuesday recessed a hearing on two competing motions involving the Placitas Animal Rescue.

Sandoval County is seeking a court injunction to shut down the animal shelter, saying it violates the county's zoning code.

Shelter owners Patience O'Dowd and Gary Miles are seeking to have the county's action dismissed.

For several years O'Dowd and Miles have been seeking both a nonconforming-use certificate and a zoning change with a conditional-use permit to continue the shelter operation.

The certificate would grandfather the shelter into the county's zoning code, which was adopted for Placitas in 1990.

Before then there was no zoning in Placitas. O'Dowd and Miles contend the shelter was in operation before the zoning, the shelter is consistent with the zoning ordinance and there is no violation.

The county contends the shelter poses threats to public health, safety and welfare by at times having as many as 50 dogs and cats in inadequate facilities. …

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